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7 Wild and Weird Ford Concept Cars

Many concept cars preview upcoming models to gauge public reaction to new designs. Others are designs intended to stretch the state-of-the-art but often manage to end up looking strange, and over time, even stranger. Here are 7 of the best (or worst) Ford concept cars , depending upon your opinion.

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Ford Start

The Ford Start concept made its world debut at the 2010 Beijing International Auto Show. The all-new concept, which was developed at Ford’s Strategic Concepts Group Studios in Irvine, California, was designed to act as a showcase for the company’s new small-displacement EcoBoost engine.

Car manufacturers have recognized there is a growing need for small, efficient vehicles which are specifically designed for congested urban areas. As the world’s population increasingly moves towards city life, the market for efficient city cars is increasing rapidly – and Ford wants to use the Start concept to explore some new styles and drivetrains which will be a fit for these mega cities.

In appearance the Ford Start is quite different to the company’s current small car offerings like the new Ka and Fiesta. It has a far simpler shape which is characterized by gentle bubble-like curves and proportions, including a fish-like front grille.

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Ford Airstream

The Ford Airstream concept displayed at the 2007 North American International Auto Show was a crossover vehicle influenced by Airstream’s iconic design and the future that Stanley Kubrick captured in his 1960s cult film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The whole idea behind the Ford Airstream concept was to create a vehicle for adventures, touring and traveling long distances in a unique design.

The unusual design of the Ford Airstream concept uses several different influences, including aircraft and spacecraft for the windows, Airstream’s mirror finish bodywork is replicated on the concept Ford by a unique reflective paint.

The Ford Airstream Concept’s doors are asymmetric as well, allowing for easy loading of passengers and cargo. In addition to the driver’s side hatch, the passenger side features a power clamshell door that runs two-thirds the length of the vehicle. A three-door hatch finishes the rear of the crossover.

Inside, the Ford Airstream concept features a floating instrument panel with flush-mounted, touch-sensitive controls. A multifunction single gauge display provides the driver all primary information. A Sharp dual-view screen centrally mounted on the instrument panel provides a camera view and secondary driver-oriented information, while allowing the front-seat passenger to view DVDs and post mobile blogs.

Modern, pod-shaped swiveling captain’s chairs rotate so the driver and front-seat passenger can easily socialize. In the rear of the Airstream concept, lounge-like seating is sculptural, creating a continuous cocoon-like environment wrapped in bold red fabric in this Ford concept car. The focal point of the rear seating area is a 360-degree screen for entertainment and games. The unique screen not only creates ambient mood settings including a modern lava lamp and virtual fire, but it also is an entertainment source featuring games and a live camera feed.

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Ford IndiGo

The Ford IndiGo was designed in 1996 at the peak of  Indy Cars popularity (and Ford’s involvement) Which explains the large spoilers front and back and the exposed wheel look, which are actually  thin matte black guards covering the tires..

To help maintain the straight-from-the-track appearance, the lights on this Ford concept car are discreet and integrated into the mirrors and front spoiler.

Power for the Ford IndiGo concept was supplied by a 441 hp 6.0 L V12 engine giving the car an estimated top speed of 170 mph and 0-60 time of under four seconds. The IndiGo’s six-speed sequential transmission was derived from race cars, and gear changes were made by pressing Formula 1 style buttons on the steering wheel.

The monocoque chassis of the Ford IndiGo concept was a single piece tub formed from carbon fiber composite.

There was no real market for track days cars in 1996, but image being able to buy one and take it on a road course today.

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Ford 021c

The Ford 021C concept of 1999 was a car designed to appeal to the younger generation. The very young, 21 and under actually (who would be 37 years old old, BTW).

The highly simplistic design of the 021c hides no surprises, and looks thoroughly toy-like in appearance. Built from carbon fiber, the body is free from unnecessary decor. Access is via the 4 clamshell doors, where the rear doors are hinged at the back allowing easy entry.

Highlights of this Ford concept car is the O21c’s sliding drawer-like trunk, (which is sort of like the crisper drawer in your fridge), single headlight lens, wrap around bumper, central locking activates lights around exterior handles, and specially designed Pirelli tires.

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Ford SYNus

Debuted at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show, the Ford SYNus recognizes that the majority of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2010. And in a dystopian vision of the future, design influences for this Ford concept car come from security products such as safes, bank vaults, and armored cars. In essence, a “safe room” on wheels.

The SYNus’s side windows are bullet proof and when in secure mode, protective shutters cover the windscreen and side windows.

The interior of the SYNus contradicts the exterior and is a warm, light inviting area. Mounted in the tailgate is the largest widescreen LCD display ever to be mounted in a vehicle, it can be used for surveillance around the vehicle, as a rear view mirror, surfing the internet or watching movies.

And it’s unclear whether its pronounced Sinus or Sin-us, in either case, not a great name for a car no matter how dark the future may be.

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Ford MA

Ford’s striking 2003 concept car, the MA, was intended purely as a design exercise with no intention of going into production. In fact, it has more in common with garden furniture from Ikea than any existing car.

The electric motor and batteries are housed in, and the  front and rear suspensions are connected to, machined metal chassis members running down each side. The horizontal surfaces, including the driver and passenger seats of the MA are constructed from bamboo slats,

At the time Ford said that if the MA were to go on sale it would be sold as a kit, and the simple construction would be performed by the owner. Sound perfect for the Ikea customer.

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Ford Saetta

The Ford Saetta concept which was introduced at the 1996 Turin Motor Show was a preview of the upcoming first generation Ford Ka (small European car).

Styled by Ford’s Turin-based Ghia design studio, the Saetta was a bold design which featured sharp angles and was the epitome of Ford’s new ‘edge design’. The controversial design of the concept was intended to help ease the public into Ford’s new design philosophy before the production Ford Ka was revealed.

Based on a Ford Fiesta platform the Saetta concept featured a two-seat layout, FWD and a 1.3 liter 4-cylinder engine.

The interior of the Ford Saetta featured striking blue and silver trim and sharp angles and lines which were a reflection of the exterior design.

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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